Work Your Knots into Woodworking Art.
Wood has long been used as an artistic medium. It has been used to make sculptures and carvings for millennia. Examples include the didgeridoo carved by Australian indigenous people from local species such as the gum tree.
So many wood defects can be made into top selling wood art and home decor. Knots are visible imperfections in wood grain that are circular and darker than the surrounding area. When a board is cut vertically from a tree trunk, the knot will resemble a circle of abnormal wood that was once the base connection of a branch to the tree trunk but has been grown around by the rest of the grain. Knots can be used in driftwood art as well.
The knot itself will not be physically weak, but a knot causes weakness in the surrounding wood because it disrupts the flow of the grain. The grain distorts around the knot and the deviation is the source of the weakness. The greater the distortion the greater the weakness.
A burl is a tree growth in which the grain has grown in a deformed manner. It is usually found on the trunk, at the base of the tree, and sometimes underground in the form of a rounded outgrowth. It is caused by some kind of stress, such as injury, virus, fungus, insect infestation or mold growth.
Burls result in a uniquely patterned wood art, which is highly prized for its beauty. It is valued and sought after by artists, furniture makers and sculptors. Burl wood can be found in many tree species and is used in making furniture, different types of veneer, inlays, turning wood, gun stocks, music wood, and other household items.
Other uses of wood in the arts include:
- Woodcut printmaking and engraving
- Wood can be a surface to paint on, such as in panel painting
- Many musical instruments are made mostly or entirely of wood
- Driftwood art such as sculptures are sculptures that are made of driftwood found on beaches or along riverbanks. At Kullaberg, Sweden, Lars Vilks created Nimis a driftwood artwork in the year 1980. This sculpture and two others led to the declaration of Ladonia as an independent nation. Sculptures were created on the Emeryville, California mudflat and marsh area of San Francisco Bay in the late 1960s. The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy (sometimes called the “Green Oscars”) are sculpted out of driftwood. Artist Deborah Butterfield is known for her sculptures of horses, initially rendered from driftwood before being cast in bronze.